February 02, 2019
Hoshigaki (dried persimmon) is one of the popular Japanese sweets in the late autumn to winter. Full of vitamins and dietary fiber melt sweet in your mouth.
Did you know tannic, bitter, persimmons must be used? During 4-6 weeks of drying and care, the natural sugars are forming. Let’s see how they are made in Japan. To make Hoshigaki, first you peel them all over. Then, hang them on strings with enough space in between. They need airflow and humidity. Exposure to some sunlight helps to reach the maximum sweetness.
After a week, the slippery surface is getting tacky and forming a skin. It’s the time you start to gently massage them. By massaging every few days, you accelerate softening the inner part of the fruit. First, only just under the skin. It takes 4-6 weeks to reach the core. It’s a very delicate and lengthy process. Finally, you get natural sugars blooming on the surface as white powders.
The ones on the Syosaku Urushi Glass plate are called “Anpo Gaki”, which is a special version of Hoshigaki. They have a sulfur dioxide fumigation process in between. This process makes the fruit , and gives the vivid orange color.
There are 2 types of persimmons in general. One is edible and sweet, the other is mouth‐puckering. Sooner or later, almost all kinds of persimmons ripen into sweetness. If you use persimmons to make Hoshigaki, they can be rotten or damaged very easily. The sugar content of the Hoshigaki is higher, when you use unripe persimmons. People are making Hoshigaki in different ways in various areas in Japan. It depends on the persimmons they can get, and the local climate.
Do you have persimmons available in your country or area? If so, maybe you can find your own way of making and enjoying one of the popular Japanese sweets.
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